Jürgen Cain Külbel is an ex-investigator for the criminal police of the Democratic Republic of Germany. He became a journalist after the reunification of Germany. He has managed to identify the author of the reports posted on the Bellingcat site which influenced the international police team tasked by Ukraine with establishing the cause of the destruction of Flight MH17. This amateur, who « found » evidence of Russian guilt which he claims to be « irrefutable », is in reality a musician, with no competence whatsoever in criminalistics.


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A bouquet of flowers on the wreckage of Flight MH17. This Boeing 777, travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was destroyed on 17 July 2014 over the zones of combat between the Kiev putchists and the Donbass independentists, killing the 298 persons on board. Since then, the two camps have been accusing one another of being responsible for this catastrophe. The Western powers finally adopted the hypothesis published on the British Internet site Bellingcat.

Daniël Romein and the journalists of De Volkskrant

He calls himself Daniël Romein. That is not his real name. We made an appointment to meet in a cafe. He sits down, seeming a little embarrassed. He has a friendly face. From time to time, he glances to the right. Then he looks at the people outside who are walking in the rain. « I always try to have a head start on my adversary », he says. And for him, the enemy is Russia. He wants to take precautions. « As a specialist in computers, I know what counter-measures I need to apply ». And he adds – « This job is risky, because I know that the Russians are really unhappy about our research ».

In February 2016, Daniël Romein met with a group of journalists in this cafe [1] – secretly, of course. Huib Modderkolk and Bert Lanting from the Amsterdam daily De Volkskrant wrote later that Romein’s « discoveries » were the foundation of the Bellingcat reports in 2015 and 2016 on the catastrophe of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). Jikke Zijlstra and Michael de Smit, of Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), a Dutch public service radio station, noted that – « Although [British subject Eliot] Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat, their Dutch employee, Daniël Romein, wrote the greater part of the report (in 2016) ». Modderkolk and Lanting even wrote that Romein had provided the basis for these reports, that he was the principal author of the studies, and that he works « in secret for the Bellingcat research collective. Almost no-one knows this. His family, his friends, his colleagues – most of them don’t know. He likes to maintain a small circle. He himself estimates their number at a maximum of ten. Last year (2015), he was engaged in research to discover which Russian soldiers were implicated in the destruction of Flight MH17 », and uses « his computer as a weapon. He watches his screen for hours, scrolling through Russian Web sites and the social media. He does this by choice, on top of his work as an IT professional. Sometimes he works very late – until two o’clock in the morning – and comes to work at the office the next morning with tired eyes … that’s when it becomes difficult, and he can’t talk to anyone. « Sometimes it feels as if I’m living a double life ». Romein declared to the journalist that media attention should be focused on the people involved rather than on himself – he wants remain anonymous. « Only his colleagues in Bellingcat know his real identity », affirms De Volkskrant.

Daniël Romein, liaison agent between Bellingcat and the Joint Investigation Team

Around Christmas 2015, on the request of the founder of Bellingcat, Eliot Higgins, Romein sent his work of investigation and that of Bellingcat to the Dutch Openbaar Ministerie, in other words the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which takes precedence over the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with the international criminal investigation into the catastrophe of Flight MH17. The Public Minister declared that he would « pay serious attention to the information, including its usefulness for the criminal investigation ». « They are satisfied with our efforts and our work », declared Romein, who has regular contacts with the detectives from the JIT. For example, on an invitation from the JIT, he had on numerous occasions exchanged information on Bellingcat’s enquiries with the Public Prosecutor’s team. Eliot Higgins, the head alchemist of Bellingcat, was twice heard as a witness…Read More at